Students Struggle to Explain Their Own Program Code

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We asked students to explain the structure and execution of their small programs after they had submitted them to a programming exercise. These questions about learner’s code (QLCs) were delivered at three occasions in an online and open course in introductory programming as a part of the digital learning material. We make inductive content analysis to research the open-ended text answers we collected. One third of the students struggled to explain their own program code. This estimates possible occurrences of fragile learning at the moment when a student seemingly succeeds in a program writing exercise. Furthermore, we examine correlations between the correctness of the answers with other learning data. Our results indicate that answering properly aligned QLCs correctly has stronger correlation with student success and retention than merely submitting a correct program. Additionally, we present observations on learning event-driven programming to explore QLCs’ potential in identifying students’ thinking process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationITiCSE '21: Proceedings of the 26th ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education
PublisherACM
Pages206-212
Number of pages7
Volume1
ISBN (Electronic)9781450382144
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-8214-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2021
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventAnnual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education - Virtual, Online, Paderborn, Germany
Duration: 26 Jun 20211 Jul 2021
Conference number: 26
https://iticse.acm.org/

Conference

ConferenceAnnual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education
Abbreviated titleITiCSE
Country/TerritoryGermany
CityPaderborn
Period26/06/202101/07/2021
Internet address

Keywords

  • QLC
  • program comprehension
  • event-driven programming
  • introductory programming
  • CS1
  • online education

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